This should be pretty useful so if you can, just save it in your computer for future reference.


Windows XP, 2000, NT, 95 & 98 tips
Note: These tips were successfully tested on several machines running Windows 95, Windows 98 or NT 4.0. However, you must use them at your own risks, as performing some of the operations below may cause some unforseen side effects on some PCs. Remember to Always back up the registry before editing it.

Killing Pesky Auto-Starting Apps

Sometimes programs run automatically at Windows start-up that you would rather not run. When there's an entry in your StartUp folder, solving this problem is a snap: You simply delete the offending shortcut from the StartUp folder.

But often there isn't a shortcut in the StartUp folder. In that case, run Regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Run. For NT, check HKEY_CURRENT_USER tree (same path as above).

If you see an entry for the program, delete the entry and the program will no longer start automatically. You can also check HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices for unwanted entries.

You may also want to take a look at Win.ini. Run Sysedit and switch to the Win.ini window. At the top, in the [Windows] section, look for the string load=. If you find any references to programs you'd rather not run automatically, delete them and your worries are over.

Removing the delay in displaying menu options

There is an inherent default delay of nearly one-half second when traversing menus in Windows NT. To speed up your desktop navigation, do the following steps. (This procedure involves editing the Windows NT Registry, so ensure you back it up first):

Start the Registry Editor - Click "Start", "Run", "Regedt32" and select the HKEY_CURRENT_USER window.
Expand the "Control Panel" folder and click the "Desktop" folder.
In the right window pane, locate the Name entry called "MenuShowDelay". By default, the value for this entry is 400 milliseconds.
Double-click the "MenuShowDelay" entry to open the String Editor, change the value to "0" (zero), and click "OK". If the "MenuShowDelay" Name entry does not exist, create it as follows:
Click the left window "Desktop" folder and choose "Edit", then "Add Value" in the Registry Editor menu bar.
In the dialog box displayed, enter "MenuShowDelay" (without the quotation marks), and set the Data Type to REG_SZ.
Click "OK". This causes the String Editor dialog box to be displayed. Enter the number of milliseconds you want for the "MenuShowDelay" value and click "OK". Of course, a value of "0" (zero) will disable the delay altogether, and speed up your desktop. After making these changes to your Registry, you will then need to re-boot Windows NT for the changes to take effect, but you will notice that menu navigation is faster from now on.
Wordpad Mania:

to add Worpad to explorer's Right-click menu, and to automatically use it to load files of unknown types, do the following:

Open the Registry. Locate HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Classes\*. Under this key, create a new one called Shell. Set the default of Shell to any word you like, such as MyWP. Create a key under Shell with the same word, MyWP. Set the default value in that key to &Wordpad. Create a key under MyWP called Command. Set the default value in that key to the following: "c:\program files\accessories\wordpad.exe %1" (fix the line to match your path to Wordpad as necessary).

Changing Explorer's Default Directory:

Navigate to C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs. Change the properties for Windows Explorer. Typically, the command line ends with a C:\. Change that to whatever you'd like. Note: This does not work on Windows NT, which starts Explorer using and SCP file.

Expand Control Panel
Check this out: Click on Start, Settings, Taskbar & Start Menu, click on the Advanced Tab, and check "Display Administrative Tools", and "Expand Control Panel". You'll then be able to access any Control Panel Applet from the start menu.@@@Control Numlock Key per user
Go to the Control Panel SYSTEM Applet, advanced tab, create a new User Environment Variable called NUMLOCK, with value ON.

Permanently turn that "My Computer" view into an "Explorer" view.
Double click My Computer. From the View menu, select options and the File Types tab. Scroll the list of "Registered file types" and select "Folder". Depress the Edit button, and select Explore. Press Set Default and press Close and press Close.
If you want to change the Open behavior, select Explore and press the Edit button and select the text in DDE Message and copy it to the Clip Board. Click on OK. Select Open and press the Edit button. Paste the Clip Board contents into the DDE Message and click on OK

Speed up & Browse Windows 2000/XP faster
Maybe you have noticed that Windows XP and Windows 2k take a whole life to navigate thru a local network. Well, this is due to a bug (that's how people described it) that that scans shared files for Scheduled Tasks. Here is an excellent tip to solve this problem.
This problem turns out that you can experience a delay as long as 30 seconds when you try to view shared files across a network because Windows 2000 is using the extra time to search the remote computer for any Scheduled Tasks. Note that though the fix is originally intended for only those affected, Windows 2000 users will experience that the actual browsing speed of both the Internet & Windows Explorers improve significantly after applying it since it doesn't search for Scheduled Tasks anymore. Here's how :
Open up the Registry and go to :
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace
Under that branch, select the key :
and delete it.
This is the key that instructs Windows to search for Scheduled Tasks. If you like you may want to export the exact branch so that you can restore the key if necessary. This fix is so effective that it doesn't require a reboot and you can almost immediately determine yourself how much it speeds up your browsing processes.

ClearType settings (XP)

Go into Display Properties
Under Appearance Go to effects
In Effects set the combo to ClearType instead of normal.

Now watch as your desktop and your text automatically transform to give you that graphical edge you've always wanted.

You can use the Remote Desktop feature in Windows XP Professional to connect to your computer from another, remote computer.
WARNING: The Remote Assistance feature in Windows XP may not work properly if you change the listening port. To change the port that Remote Desktop listens on:
Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
Locate the following key in the registry:
On the Edit menu, click Modify, click Decimal, type the new port number, and then click OK.
Quit Registry Editor.
NOTE: When you try to connect to this computer by using the Remote Desktop connection, you must type the new port. You need to add this to the default.rdp file for the XP terminal client... Add this line anywhere in the file.
server port:i:your port number
ie server port:i:21

Prevent Image and Fax Viewer from Stealing Associations (XP)
Normally, the Windows Image and Fax Viewer will steal associations from other image viewers, such as AcdSee, so that when you double-click a jpeg (for example) it is opened with WIFV. To prevent this irritating behavior, delete the subkey inside HKCR\SystemFileAssociations\image\ShellEx\ContextMenuHandlers which I believe was named Preview (before I deleted it, that is).

Speed up menu display (XP)
When using the start menu the you will notice a delay between different tiers of the menu hierarchy. For the fastest computer experience possible I recommend changing this value to zero. This will allow the different tiers to appear instantly.

Start Regedit. If you are unfamiliar with regedit please refer to our FAQ on how to get started.
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Select MenuShowDelay from the list on the right.
Right on it and select Modify.
Change the value to 0.
Reboot your computer.

Edit Secret Windows XP Pro Features without Editing the Registry

Open the start menu and click Run
Type gpedit.msc
The Group Policy MMC appears
Click through the different nodes of the tree to see all the hidden features of Windows XP that you can edit without touching the registry.

Examples: Changing IE displays, Clearing the pagefile at shutdown, boot-time defrag settings, and many many more
Another tip is to add this to your Administrative Tools by adding the shortcut to gpedit.msc

Add/Remove optional features of Windows XP
I first mentioned this technique in an old Technology Showcase for Windows 2000, but it still works in Windows XP, and can be quite useful: For some reason, Microsoft has removed the ability to specify which Windows components you want to install during interactive Setup, and when you go into Add/Remove Windows Components in the Control Panel, you still don't have the full list of applications and applets you can add and remove. Thankfully, this is easy to fix.
To dramatically expand the list of applications you can remove from Windows XP after installation, navigate to C:\WINDOWS\inf (substituting the correct drive letter for your version of Windows) and open the sysoc.inf file. Under Windows XP Professional Edition, this file will resemble the following by default:
[Version] Signature = "$Windows NT$"
IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2
The entries that include the text hide or HIDE will not show up in Add/Remove Windows Components by default. To fix this, do a global search and replace for ,hide and change each instance of this to , (a comma). Then, save the file, relaunch Add/Remove Windows Components, and tweak the installed applications to your heart's content.

Remove the Shared Documents folders from My Computer (XP)
Contributed by Bryan Somerville
One of the most annoying things about the new Windows XP user interface is that Microsoft saw fit to provide links to all of the Shared Documents folders on your system, right at the top of the My Computer window. I can't imagine why this would be the default, even in a shared PC environment at home, but what's even more annoying is that you cannot change this behavior through the shell: Those icons are stuck there and you have to live with it.
Until now, that is.
Simply fire up the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ My Computer \ NameSpace \ DelegateFolders
You'll see a sub-key named {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}. If you delete this, all of the Shared Documents folders (which are normally under the group called "Other Files Stored on This Computer") will be gone.
You do not need to reboot your system to see the change.

Use the Windows Sound Scheme (XP)
Open up Control Panel and navigate to Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices. Then, choose the task titled Change the sound scheme. In the dialog that appears, choose Windows Default for the sound scheme.

Rip high-quality MP3s in Media Player for Windows XP (MPXP)
The relationship between Media Player for Windows XP (MPXP) and the MP3 audio format is widely misunderstood. Basically, MPXP is able to playback MP3 files out of the box, but encoding (or "ripping") CD audio into MP3 format will require an MP3 plug-in. During the Windows XP beta, Microsoft supplied a sample MP3 plug-in for testing purposes, but it was limited to 56 Kbps rips, which is pretty useless, leading some to report that Microsoft was purposefully hobbling MP3 to make its Windows Media Audio (WMA) format look better. This is not the case.
This Registry hack affects the MP3 encoding save rates for the new MS Windows Media Player 8.0 (WMP8) included with Windows XP Gold (all releases).
To make this happen: open Notepad, save the text between the Cut & Paste lines below as a REG file, and then merge it into your Registry by (double)-clicking on it:
-----Begin cut & paste here-----
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
------End cut & paste here------
This corresponds to 56, 64, 128 and 192 KB/second rates, respectively.
Moreover, you can change the rates using these DWORD [hex] values for each of the Registry entries above:
56 Kbps = dword:0000dac0
64 Kbps = dword:0000fa00
112 Kbps = dword:0001b580
128 Kbps = dword:0001f400
160 Kbps = dword:00027100
192 Kbps = dword:0002ee00
224 Kbps = dword:00036b00
256 Kbps = dword:0003e800
320 Kbps = dword:0004e200

Stop Windows Messenger from Auto-Starting (XP)
If you're not a big fan of Windows Messenger, you can use the tip "Add/Remove optional features of Windows XP" above to remove it, or simply delete the following Registry Key:

Speed Up Browsing (XP)
When you connect to a web site your computer sends information back and forth. Some of this information deals with resolving the site name to an IP address, the stuff that TCP/IP really deals with, not words. This is DNS information and is used so that you will not need to ask for the site location each and every time you visit the site. Although Windows XP and Windows XP have a pretty efficient DNS cache, you can increase its overall performance by increasing its size.
You can do this with the registry entries below:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

Internet Time Sync (XP)
To change the interval that Windows updates the time using the internet time servers via regedit, navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services \W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpClient
Select "SpecialPollInterval"
Change decimal value from 604800 to a different value in seconds. i.e.: 172800 (2 Days) or 86400 (1 Day) and so on.

We don't recommend changing this unless you are on a broadband connection.

Defragment (XP)
A very important new feature in Microsoft Windows XP is the ability to do a boot defragment. This basically means that all boot files are placed next to each other on the disk drive to allow for faster booting. By default this option is enabled but some upgrade users have reported that it isn't on their setup.

Start Regedit.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction
Select Enable from the list on the right.
Right on it and select Modify.
Change the value to Y to enable and N to disable.
Reboot your computer.
To display the Administrator (master: Admin/Sysadmin) account on the Windows XP Welcome logon screen, fire up Regedit (or Regedt32) and go to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList
Create (if not present) a new Value: right-click on an empty spot in the right hand pane -> select New -> DWORD [REG_DWORD] Value -> name it Administrator -> click OK -> double-click on it -> check the Decimal box -> type 1 -> click OK.
Modify (if present) the "Administrator" DWORD [REG_DWORD] Value: highlight it in the right hand pane -> select Modify -> check the Decimal box -> type 1 -> click OK.
Close the Registry Editor when done.
From now on, whenever you logon as Admin/Sysadmin [ONLY IF you have administrator rights to the computer you're trying to boot into ] you'll see the Administrator account on the Welcome display.

To Open A Help File from the Command Line:
Hh filename.chm

Windows XP comes with a built-in firewall. To install it, follow these steps:
1. Open the Start menu, right-click on My Network Places, and choose Properties.
The Internet is a huge network - it's designed for computers to talk to each other. That's why it's important to make sure that only the friendly computers do the talking.
2. Right-click on the connection you want to protect, and choose Properties.
3. Click the Advanced tab and activate the firewall.
Click the box to activate the Windows XP firewall.
If you're running a network and using the Internet Connection Sharing to let all the networked computers share the modem, the firewall should only be activated on the host computer It doesn't need to be activated on the client computers - the computers that share the host computer's modem.

Win XP Command Line tools:
Automate common routine management tasks.
CMD Scripting, WSH, WMI
EMS Emergency Management Service: Manage server through a serial port.
Defined over 180 common tasks
40 new tools in XP.
schtasks.exe replaces AT.
sc.exe: Services Controller
Additional tools on CD, not installed at setup, available in the Support\Tools directory. Provided as is.
Some of these tools:
Nltest: Which machine authenticates your login
Poolmon: Good for memory leak detection
Windiff: differences between 2 files.

Scripting help:

To create an app path, so you can run an application in Windows Xp from the Run dialog box you need to:

Run regedit and go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths
Create a new key with the what ever you want to use as your run command, ie HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\whatever.exe
In the key folder that you created, create a new string, call it 'Path' and modify the value to point the specific folder of your executable your running. ie C:\ProgramFiles\whatever
Use the default string and modify it's value to point to the executable you want to run.

FIX for status bar in Windows XP
Startup Regedit and look for the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy\State\Machine\Extension-List\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000} You should find a REG_DWORD called "Status" with a value of 0. I change this value to 1 and the status bar will be present when starting IE.

Turning Off Indexing Speeds Up Windows XP
Windows XP keeps a record of all files on the hard disk to try and improve searching speed. The only downside to all of this is that your PC will have to be indexing all of the files, so if you don't use search very much you can disable this feature:
Open my computer
Right click on one of your hard drive icons and then select properties.
At the bottom of the window you should see "Allow indexing service to index this disk for faster searches," uncheck this and click then click on ok.
A new window will pop up and select apply to all folders and subfolders. Once complete, it takes a few more minutes to make sure that indexing is now switched off.

Enable or disable Automatic Expanding Trees in Windows Explorer

Registry Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Modify/Create the Value Data Type(s) and Value Name(s) as below.
Data Type: REG_DWORD [Dword Value] // Value Name: FriendlyTree
Setting for Value Data: 0 = Disabled / 1 = Enabled
Exit the Registry and Reboot your computer

Stop UNC shares automatically being added to My Network Places

In Windows 2000 if you open a file or web via a UNC name it will automatically be added to the My Network Places area. To stop this happening perform the following:

Click Start, click Run, type mmc.exe, and then click OK.
In Microsoft Management Console (MMC) click Add/Remove Snap-in on the Console menu.
Click Add.
Click Group Policy, and then click Add.
Accept the default (which is Local Computer), and then click Finish.
Click Close, and then click OK.
Under Local Computer Policy, expand the User Configuration entry.
Expand the Administrative Templates entry.
Expand the Desktop entry.
Right-click Do not add shares of recently opened documents to My Network Places, and then click Properties.
Click Enabled, and then click OK.
The above works on a local machine, for a domain/site/OU group policy you would open the corresponding Group Policy Object, goto User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop area and make the change.
You can also make the change in the registry by setting HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\NoRecentDocsNetHood to 1.

How to retain the Status Bar If your status bar disappears when opening a new Windows Explorer or IE 6 browser window:

With (only one) IE open, click View, select: Status Bar
Right-click on IE's Toolbar and select: "Lock the Toolbar"
Hold down the Ctrl key and click the close button (upper right)
Open Windows Explorer, click View, select: Status Bar
Right-click on Explorer's Toolbar and select: "Lock the Toolbar"
Click Tools | Folder Options | View tab
Click the "Apply to all folders" button.
Hold down the Ctrl key and click the close button (upper right)
Open IE to any page, right-click on a link and select: "Open in New Window"
Verify that these Registry entries exist: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main "Show_StatusBar"="yes" "Show_URLinStatusBar"="yes"

Accelerate the Disk Cleanup wizard by eliminating the file compression calculation

Click Start, Run. In Windows 2000 or XP, type Regedt32.exe and click OK.
In Regedt32, select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE pane, then select the Software folder. Pull down the Registry menu, and then click Save Key to back up this folder for safekeeping.
Double-click each folder to open the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Compress old files.
In the right pane, double-click the REG_SZ key to edit it. Save the value in case you wish to restore it later. It reads B50F5260-0C21-11D2-AB56-00A0C9082678. Press Delete to remove the value, then click OK. Close Regedt32.
Now, right-click a hard drive in My Computer or Windows Explorer. Click Properties, then Disk Cleanup. The utility will zoom along, skipping the usual analysis of how much your old files could be compressed. You'll hardly have time for coffee!

Disk Cleanup Tool Slow when "Compressing Old Files" choice available
Run regedit.
Navigate to the following Registry key:
HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches
Simply delete the "Compress old files" Registry key